NHS pay deal to be implemented in Wales despite looming strike action
Health unions in Wales have collectively accepted the Welsh government’s latest pay offer.
However, there may be continued disruptions as planned nurse strikes are still set to go ahead.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) announced today that it maintains a formal dispute with the Welsh Government over the deal.
Yesterday, the NHS trade union side informed the Welsh Government of their collective decision to accept the two-year pay offer.
The accepted deal includes a 5% pay increase for all Agenda for Change (AfC) staff in Wales for 2023, with an 8% increase for those on the lowest pay bands.
Additionally, staff will receive a one-off NHS recovery payment for 2022-23, worth an average of 3%.
Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and Social Services said, “I am pleased that, overall, union members have accepted our offer and I am grateful to all our unions for working with us in a social partnership.”
She continued, “I have therefore decided to implement the offer for all Welsh NHS Agenda for Change staff. The Welsh Government will immediately begin the process for making the pay award so that workers receive the payments as soon as practicable.”
She added, “The offer we made came as a result of negotiations which were challenging for all sides. We have been transparent regarding the difficult financial position facing the Welsh Government without additional funding from Westminster.”
Ms Morgan stated, “Two unions remain in dispute regarding the 2022-23 pay award and I do recognise the strength of feeling amongst members of all unions, whether they voted to accept or reject. While maintaining the collective agreement, we will continue discussions where we can in order to seek to address legitimate specific concerns and to avoid any further industrial action.”
The RCN and the Society of Radiographers continue their dispute regarding the 2022-23 pay award, having voted to reject the most recent pay offer.
In light of this, RCN Wales has confirmed that its planned days of strike action on 6 and 7 June and 12 and 13 July will go ahead.
Helen Whyley, Director of RCN Wales, said, “RCN Wales remains in a formal dispute with the Welsh government over NHS pay after a majority of members rejected the pay offer. I have written to the Minister for Health and Social Services today, seeking to urgently re-enter negotiations. Unless that happens, members of RCN Wales will be on the picket lines once again from next month. I respect those in our membership and in other unions who voted to accept, but this was not the view of the majority of our membership.”
She concluded, “The decision to take strike action is not taken lightly by us or our membership. Nursing is the largest part of the NHS workforce and they require an offer that matches their true value. The voices of nurses need to be heard once and for all, before the profession and patient care is depleted any further.” Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com